The intriguingly named town of Hurricane (named for a whirlwind which occurred in the area) is a small community – around 8,000 people – but it offers a wealth of things to see and do. Hurricane and Washington County have also become two of the fastest growing areas in the country, attracting not only tourists and snowbirds, but new residents too.
Perhaps the town’s biggest attraction is its enviable location within easy reach of some of the country’s most spectacular scenery. A 20 mile drive will take you to Zion National Park; while within easy reach of the town are Bryce Canyon, the north rim of the Grand Canyon and the huge Navajo Indian Reservation.
Outdoor sports and activities are plentiful – including hiking, sailing, camping and golf. The picturesque Virgin River runs through the center of the town and offers white water rafting and other water sports. Culture isn’t overlooked either – an hour’s drive takes you to Cedar City, home of the annual Shakespearean festival, which takes place every summer.
But it’s also the standard of living that attracts not only visitors, but those wanting to relocate. Hurricane has a well defined community pride, a rich heritage and manages to retain a pleasant small town feel. The average house price in Hurricane is an affordable $174,000 and Washington County as a whole has also become more popular over recent years as a retirement community.
And the city is proud of its annual festival which celebrates the area’s heritage. The famous “Peach Days” festival takes place around the end of august and features concerts, eating competitions and a rodeo. The 2006 festival also celebrated the 100th anniversary of the town.
This part of Southern Utah boasts several ghost towns, all within easy reach of Hurricane. The old mining town of Silver Reef once boasted a population of 2000, today it’s mostly abandoned but several buildings have been converted into museums. And if the ghost town of Grafton looks vaguely familiar, it was used in a scene from the Paul Newman movie “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”
But whether you are on vacation in the area, or are considering relocating or retiring to Hurricane – here’s one insider’s tip. The name of the town is pronounced “her-ah-kun” by the locals.